US & Canada Television

CNN & MSNBC Continue Battle in October Ratings


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With Fox News so far in front as to be not worth even mentioning, CNN and MSNBC have continued their ratings battle between second and third place in cable news.

CNN beat MSNBC in total day, dayside and weekends in the key demographic adults 25-54 for October 2019. The network also posted its third most watched October in total day in 17 years (since 2002) among total viewers, just following the presidential election years of 2016 and 2008. In prime time, this is CNN’s third most watched October in 18 years (since October 2001, following 2016 and 2008) and third best in weekday prime among adults 25-54 (since 2008). This month, CNN is up among total viewers compared to last year, adding viewers across key day parts and programs, including prime time.

In total day, CNN outranked MSNBC in the key demo adults 25-54 (191k vs 182k), topping or tying MSNBC for 63 of the past 64 months. The network also grew double-digits compared to a year ago, increasing +12% in total viewers. In weekday prime time, CNN grew significantly vs. last October, increasing +43% in total viewers (1.534 million) and +24% among adults 25-54 (409k), and +31%/+10% respectively during M-Su prime time (1.254 million/331k).

During dayside (9am-4pm), CNN surpassed MSNBC for the 68th straight month in the coveted demographic adults 25-54 (196k vs. 163k), the longest streak on record. The network also grew +4% during the day among total viewers compared to last year. This is CNN’s third-best October dayside ratings since 2001 among total viewers (869k), behind 2002 and 2016. On weekends, CNN outperformed MSNBC in total day and prime time among adults 25-54 in October. In weekend total day, CNN averaged 133k vs. MSNBC’s 100k and weekend prime time, CNN posted 136k vs. MSNBC’s 110k among 25-54. CNN ranked #1 in cable news on Saturdays every hour from 12 noon to 7pm and bested MSNBC for 21 out of 24 hours on Saturdays. On Sundays, CNN was top-rated every hour from 3-9pm, outperforming MSNBC for 23 hours among 25-54 this month.



Among ALL cable networks, CNN ranked #4 in total viewers in total day this month. This marks the 21th straight month that CNN is a Top 10 cable network. During weekday prime time, CNN ranked #5 in total viewers and #7 during M-Su primetime. CNN also had the youngest audience in cable news in total day and prime time and reached the largest cumulative TV audience (among both total viewers and adults 25-54) this month.